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Howard Brown plans expansion on Chicago north, south sides

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CHICAGO — Howard Brown Health (HBH) announced last week it is planning on expanding its services and physical footprint over the next five years.

In a press release, the healthcare system said that plans include the development of a new and larger Broadway Youth Center to better serve LGBTQ youth; a new clinic on North Halsted to relocate the existing practice in Lakeview; and a new clinic-anchored community center serving South Side LGBTQ residents.

“As the need for LGBTQ affirming healthcare services continues to grow, Howard Brown is responding with bold plans that will increase capacity citywide to serve more people than ever before,” said David Ernesto Munar, President and CEO of Howard Brown Health. “Our patients deserve compassionate and culturally competent care, timely appointment scheduling, shorter wait times for sexual and behavioral healthcare, and social services that affirm the whole person. We’re excited to take the next steps towards making our model of care more accessible for all who seek our services.”

The Broadway Youth Center (BYC) will move into a new five-floor facility at 1023 W. Irving Park Road in 2021. The location will have a dedicated floor for clinical services and house BYC’s vocational, education, and behavioral health services, enabling more outreach, cultural, and basic-need programs. Wheeler Kearns Architects are working with BYC participants and staff to design the facility. The new location will allow programming for up to 4,500 BYC participants and clinical services for as many as 6,000 teens and young adults annually.

Howard Brown Health is also negotiating to buy the Little Jim’s property on Halstead to build a new Lakeview clinic. If approved by the city council, the new clinic would help with the patient load at HBH’s Sheridan location a mile away.

“After 45 years of serving the community, we are retiring from business ownership. In planning the disposition of the property, we hoped its new use would preserve the character of North Halsted Street,” said LJ Bar LLC, owner of Little Jim’s Tavern. “We are thrilled that Howard Brown Health is planning to acquire the site to continue our legacy of community support and service.”

Howard Brown is also partnering with Pride Action Tank to lead a comprehensive needs assessment among LGBTQ-identified South Siders. The project will rely on in-person and electronic feedback to gauge service needs and priorities, ultimately guiding the development of a community center bringing together Howard Brown’s services with those of ally organizations under one roof. The needs assessment should inform Howard Brown’s plans and those of other projects responding to disparities on the South Side. HBH aims to open the new center by 2024.

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